Six on Saturday – Small but Pefectly Formed, Mainly

We are fair motoring through May.  I have an inkling we may be surpassing the speed limit.  It is hard to believe that already this is the last Six on Saturday for the month.  Whoever is in charge of time monitoring could they please slow it down a little?  There is an awful lot to do before summer begins.   Someone who is never to busy to herd us SoSers into some kind of order is The Propmiester, pop over to his site and you will find out what, where and how from across the known universe.

Shall we begin with a newcomer to the fold, Viola ‘Molly Sanderson’.  She arrived at Chez Nous with last week’s osteospermum and argyranthemum.  My plan was to trickle in these purchases so you wouldn’t judge me as someone with a minusule garden who keeps sowing seeds and taking cuttings and can’t be trusted to leave the house for a loaf of bread without coming home with a new plant.  This viola is an irresistible wonder.  A black hole of a flower, with a smidgeon of indigo ringed yellow at the epi-centre, drawing you ever inwards to your doom.  Perhaps not doom, more likely some delicious nectar and a truck load of pollen, if that is your tipple.

Unlike its hirsute cousins (and to be honest who doesn’t have one lurking somewhere in the family) this Iris sibirica is tall and elegant and understated.  The Salvia gesneriiflora photobombing the shot hasn’t stopped flowering since February and is getting bigger and flowerier (yes that is a word) by the day.  We won’t let its exuberance overshadow the restrained beauty of the iris.  Keep your eyes central everyone!

It is rhodohypoxis time again.  This might sound a little like an embarrassing medical condition but in reality refers to these alpine iced gems.  Somehow three varieties got mixed up and the garden demons stole their labels.  Therefore they are known as an assortment of loveliness.  It is my party.

On to Viola sororia ‘Freckles’ which found its way into my shopping bag last year.  It is the first time it has flowered for me and although very attractive I have a feeling it has yet to get into its stride.   Perhaps the dry weather is upsetting it (I am loathe to say drought just yet).

I grew this adorable Aquilegia canadensis from seed and the first flower is just beginning to unfurl.  Compared to the other self-seeding thugs that dominate our garden, albeit beautifully, at the moment, it is a breath of delicately fresh air.

Unlike Aquilegia ‘Egg’ which was also grown from seed.  This brassy number is bold and brash and shouts a whole lot louder than any other columbines in the vicinity.  I expect you can hear it from where you are.  It is called Egg because the seed was harvested at the farm where we get our eggs.  I suppose it was lucky it wasn’t called Chicken.

There we have it, another six done and dusted.  Next stop June!

The Wall

This dry stone wall at Button Moon is not only a beautiful example of local craftsmanship but also does a sterling job of holding up the land behind it.   Recently it has an additional, and altogether more exicting, raison d’être.   Behind its slate barricades lies a great tit hatchery.  Although we haven’t actually seen the nest we have watched the parents disappear through a small gap between the stones, food in bill, soon to reappear and flit off to continue their quest.

We have tried to avoid disturbing them, although Pickle the Jack Russell terrier is very interested in the comings and goings.  However, if you linger for just a moment by the entrance, not long enough to anger mum and dad, you can hear the chicks demanding their dinner.  It is most enchanting.

Six on Saturday – Time Travel

This week I have had to enlist the assistance of the time machine again, on loan from our very own Six on Saturday Time Lord, Dr Prop.  At this very moment in time I am not only here with you I am also up to high jinx on another planet, possibly indulging in age inappropriate dance moves and eating too many vol au vents.  Something like that anyway.

First we have an argyranthemum.  A new purchase and a lovely one too.   It is very likely that I have said this before, but I will tell you again just in case you have forgotten.  A few years ago, when I asked his esteened opinion, a very knowledgeable, finger on the pulse, RHS type of person said that argyranthemums were the way forward.  I quite agree.

On to the demon hybrid bluebell.  They are here.  They look very pretty.  We cannot blame them for that.

Next we have a hellebore stuck in Groundhog Day.  I don’t mind in the slightest, although I do hope it doesn’t exhaust itself.  I don’t want to be hearing excuses next year.

Next another new purchase, an osteospermum.   It wasn’t in flower when I bought it, but I took a chance.  I am a wild child.  Perhaps more accurately a wild woman a little past the first flush of youth.  No matter.  You know what they say, “faint heart never won fair Whirlygig”  (possibly).

Last weekend we had some visitors from the Big City.   As the planters at the front of the house were very “Winter into Spring shabby and not in the slightest bit chic” I decided to install “Summer into Autumn fresh and unsullied by neither time nor mollusc”.  I think they were fooled into thinking I keep a tidy garden.  One of the newbies is this Bidens ferulifolia.  This lovely is everything a bedding plant should be, bright, floriferous with the possibility of surviving the winter to give us more joy next year.

And bringing up the rear is a mini cheat.  This tulip is not in my garden, nor was it ever.  However over the last few weeks I have greatly enjoyed the glorious rise and fall of the blooms.  Slowly transforming from tender young buds to silken brazen hussies.  Just wonderful.

There we have it, another six.  And don’t forget, if you need to borrow the time machine, just contact Dr Prop and he will put you on the waiting list.  It comes in extremely useful sometimes.

Found

Today I found a beautiful double helianthemum, struggling to hold its plumpious blooms above a mat of persistent ivy.  I cleared around it and mentally marked it down for some cuttings on my next visit.

Then I continued digging nettles and brambles and pulling out my arch nemesis, cleavers.  To ensure I still had some unmarked skin at the end of the day, I was covered from head to toe and I sweltered as I cleared.  For a harsh job it was strangely enjoyable.

A robin and female blackbird took turns in harvesting as I grubbed.  Every so often I would throw them a worm, feeling a little guilty for its sacrifice.  This wasn’t really necessary.  Their pin point eyesight spotted feasts that I had no hope of locating.  They zipped in and out taking their spoils to well-hidden nests to feed their hungry young.

 

Natty

This morning Lord and Lady Mantle introduced me to three giant cacti, wondering where we could fit them into their planting scheme.   Not quite sure where they will best slot into the general “Game of Thrones meets The Only Way is Essex” ambience.

Lord Mantle was looking fine in his natty hat though.

Six on Saturday – Mind Control

Until about an hour ago I was definitely not going to partake in Six on Saturday today.  I was strong.  I was recalcitrant.  I would not be bowed.  Exactly who does that Propagator chappy think he is anyway?  Controlling my Saturdays, forcing me to go outside into the big outdoors, rummaging around in my garden for worthy subjects, ruminating for hours to pick just the perfect words for a blog when I would much rather be lying on the chaise longue eating Monster Munch and watching reruns of The Dukes of Hazard.  Then I was reminded why.  The chip, which had been implanted when I was initiated into this strange cult, started tingling ominously.  And I knew just what this meant.  It was a warning from the Main Man that any further defiance would warrant a turn of the switch with my name on to Teach Her a Lesson.  For that reason I am very pleased to present my Six on Saturday, with a song in my heart and a skip in my step.

First of all we have a pretty pink aquilegia.  Yes, the march of the granny’s bonnets has begun.  Each year I vow to rid myself of them before they re-seed in every nook and cranny, pot and planter.  Each year I fail.  Until now of course.  This year will be the year that I tame the onslaught.

Now we have the flower buds of Libertia grandiflora.  With a following wind these should be in full bloom by next week, but I rather like the honeyed casing, looking more like a plump grain spike than a member of the lily family.

Earlier in the week I did a little shopping, of the horticultural variety.  Some things were for others, some for us.   One of the new addition is this purple sage, a replacement for the bog standard green variety that perished over the winter.  It is now planted up in a special terracotta pot, purchased from Fish Pye Pottery in St Ives, and is situated just outside the back door for easy access whenever I need some sage.  Which to be honest has, so far in my life, been a rare event.  Of course this might change now I have this lovely specimen.

Another purchase was a few lobelia and a tray of petunias.  The only problem is that I have nowhere to put them yet.   Those pesky primroses keep flowering and flowering and flowering and flowering.   What a fabulous problem to have.

Now an emerging rodgersia leaf.  This plant is in a pot and although I try my hardest to keep it well watered it isn’t very happy.  On days when it looks particularly sad I whisper “when we move to my fantasy garden you will have all the damp shade your heart could desire and you can relax into a humus rich soil on the banks of a cool stream and spread your leaves in joy.”  I did notice that for the first time a flower spike is forming.

And finally the Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum is completely forgiven for its pretentious name.   Anyone with a heart ……

All done.  Back to the Monster Munch.

Just a thought.  If anyone from Monster Munch Inc is reading this, I will happily take a large box of pickle onion flavour in lieu of any sponsorship money.  I mean if Mr K has his Haribo ……….